Shopping For a New Religion
Religiously speaking, I’ve been around the block a time or two and have been in and out of every church, temple or mosque within driving distance from my home. After all my experiences, I’m still looking for the perfect religion. Needless to say, I didn’t find God attending any of their services.
I jotted down a few notes relating to each religion which you may or may not be able to relate to, as follows:
I loved the music of Cat Stevens, especially “Peace Train.” If he could be a Muslim, then why not me? Being a peaceful person, though, I found that I couldn’t reconcile with the fact that Muslims shoot 14 year-old girls(for promoting education for girls), or their honor killings. I ask you, when can a killing be for the sake of honor anyway?
Burning Question: Did Mohammed have a real vision (referred to as the miraj in Islamic tradition) or was it simply a desert mirage?
Besides: I could never learn enough Arabic to be able to pray the way that Islam demands.
I like it that Buddhists sit on a mountain top to gain enlightenment and become spiritual. I’m also impressed that they wouldn’t harm a fly (literally), but then I could never live in a house full of flies.
Burning Question: I wonder, though, just how spiritual they would be if they had to come down off their mountaintop into the real world and then get caught in a serious traffic jam, say in Bombay?
Besides: I had always heard that they were non-violent, which appealed to me, but I later found out that they have an expression, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”
Love the setting: the young cherub-faced altar boys looking perfectly angelic, all the candles and the choir. The priests seemed to have an air of invincibility about them. I really wanted to participate more in the services, but the masses were in Latin. I guess they didn’t want us to know that it’s really a pagan religion.
Burning Question: Is the Pope really infallible?
Besides: I don’t like praying to the mother of the messiah; I should be good enough to pray directly to God.
I thought the disciples were pretty cool (something on the order of the Three Musketeers). But it was like the old heavy-metal bands; underneath all the make-up were some totally grotesque figures. In the end, I couldn’t relate to a bunch of illiterates. I know what you’re going to say, that I’m just intellectually arrogant and blah, blah, blah. Okay, you’re absolutely right, but I just can’t wrap my arms, and mind, around a religion whose teachings even the disciples couldn’t understand (at least that’s what the Bible stories said). To tell you the truth, I liked the religious scriptures that were left out of the Bible(like, say, the Gospel of Judas) better than the ones that were included.
Burning Question: Did the disciples really see Jesus after the Resurrection? After all, how could they not recognize him?
Besides: Isn’t a messiah important enough to deserve their own special days? For example, why is Christ’s birthday celebrated on a pagan holiday? For that matter, why is the resurrection commemorated on a pagan holiday(Easter)?
Today, I’m in between religions. However, there’s a Baha’i temple not to far away that I just might check out soon. It would be nice, though, if I could find a religion that would pay me to attend, rather than the other way around. Maybe the local 7- Eleven store could have religious in-store videos, or something like that. That way even the homeless people would be able to have their own house of God.
Last Question: So, tell me, why do I need religion at all?